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John Parker

Despair At Its Finest: David Lapham’s ‘Murder Me Dead’ [Review]

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When discussing the oeuvre of David Lapham, the comic that comes up again and again is obviously Stray Bullets. As great as Stray Bullets is, though, it tends to overshadow the rest of Lapham's body of work rather unfairly in some cases. Despite the several very good comics that Lapham has produced besides his most famous title – including the incomplete Young Liars, the raucous Juice Squeezers, and of course WWF Battlemania – none can match the near-mythic level of quality and reputation of Stray Bullets, and tend to just get left out of the conversation.

The new trade paperback collection of Murder Me Dead, available July 23 from Image Comics, could help change that trend. A dark, stirring, and emotionally manipulative noir about self-destruction, lies, and guilt, it may be the best “other” Lapham comic in his catalog.

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Privacy And Isolation In Brian K. Vaughan And Marcos Martin’s ‘The Private Eye’

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Internet privacy is easily one of the most confusing realities of life in the 21st century. It's the best ongoing story in collective awareness, complete with heroes, villains, victims and martyrs, turning points, and insane plot twists that regularly put The Good Wife to shame. PRISM, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, XBox One, social engineering, News International, Anonymous, and even our stupid Facebook updates are all involved. Every player and plot-line are all tangled up in a worried knot that gets bigger and more complex every year. It's all one story, and we're all living it; spectators, beneficiaries, victims, and contributors. It's one of the defining issues of our age, a still-forming zeitgeist that could be explored for years to come.

Just not in comics. Because nobody's going to top Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente's The Private Eye.

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‘Liquid City’ Vol. 3: Calamity, Family, Diversity and Beauty [Review]

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Through its prior two volumes, Image's Liquid City has established itself as one of the most intriguing anthology series on the comics landscape. Though it's only comes out once every couple of years, the collection featuring the work of Southeast Asian creators is nonetheless one of the most beguiling collections of talent largely unknown in the west, and provides a wealth of curious comics in each volume.

This week, the anthology returns with another cabal of creators providing over twenty original stories for the 250-plus-page Liquid City Volume 3. And even though there was a huge leap in quality from the first volume to the second, the newest edition is easily the best in the series.

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Ellis And Howard Imagine A New Kind Of Alien Invasion In ‘Trees’ #1 [Review]

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Alien invasion stories have always been fertile ground for allegory. Throughout the history of the sub-genre, spaceships filled with arachnid creatures, little green men, shape-shifting Skrulls, omnipotent super-beings, and brain-eating slugs have come to represent oppressive and militaristic governments, Communism, the disenfranchised, and several more variations of the great and unknowable Other, usually influenced by politics or social issues. Yet with all the metaphoric territory the alien invasions have covered, in Image Comics' Trees, Warren Ellis and Jason Howard prove there's still plenty left unsaid.

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Mark Millar And Duncan Fegredo’s ‘MPH’ #1: Awesome Art, Just Interesting Enough Ideas [Review]

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MPH, the new super-speedster book from Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo, debuts from Image Comics this week. And apparently it's pretty awesome, because it's already getting its own movie, optioned by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura just one week after Fox bought the rights to Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu's Superior. If Millar didn't already have a tight-enough grip on the nexus of Hollywood and comics, Superior and MPH movies would give him the metaphorical finger-strength to squeeze it into a diamond. So is MPH worthy of the same treatment as Kick-Ass and Wanted? Please read this next part with the inner voice of Dateline's Keith Morrison: Or is Hollywood, much like Roscoe Rodriguez in MPH, moving a little... too... fast? Thank you for playing.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, Opinion, Reviews

‘Herobear And The Kid: Saving Time’ #1 Shows How All-Ages Comics Are Done [Review]

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A common lament among comics lovers is that there aren't enough books for kids anymore, and it's a valid one. The average comic is written to be understood by preteens and up, while the average reader hovers somewhere around the age 30, and it’s unlikely that this trend is going to reverse anytime soon. But most of those 30-year-olds aren’t readers today because they started in their late teens or early twenties, they’re readers today because they had their initial exposure to comics probably before the age of ten. Even though we’ve been trying to convince the rest of the world that comics aren’t for kids anymore since 1986, kids are absolutely necessary to the medium’s survival. If comic books hope to have a future amidst rapidly-evolving children’s media and Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program, then a healthy percentage of comics published today need to be geared toward the under-ten crowd, and they need to be good.

Fortunately, we have Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid: Saving Time #1 to show everybody how it’s done.

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Nitz And Smallwood On The Fear-Driven Perfectionism Behind ‘Dream Thief: Escape’ [Interview + Preview]

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In a year full of great comics, Dream Thief by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood was one of 2013's most compelling new books. After finding an aboriginal mask in a museum, John Lincoln discovers that while he sleeps, the dead possess his body in search of vengeance. A tricky and intense horror-crime hybrid, Dream Thief routinely played on readers presumptions, delivered waves of surprises, and featured one of the most impressive artistic debuts in recent memory. With the first collection from Dark Horse now on shelves, and the announcement of the follow-up Dream Thief: Escape, Nitz and Smallwood spoke with ComicsAlliance about dirtbags and panel structures, and provide an exclusive six-page preview of the upcoming sequel.

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Ennis And Cermak Get Serious With ‘Red Team: Season One’ [Review]

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Dynamite Entertainment

Look, we all know it's okay for comic book characters to kill people. It's just that when cops do it, it's something of a grey area. Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak's Red Team, recently collected by Dynamite, takes an old idea and makes it new again, exploring the moral conundrum of taking the law into your own hands. One of the least-talked-about great comics of 2013, Red Team is tense, real, and dead-serious. Which is funny, because I used to think Garth Ennis was stupid.

I'm leaving both of those hanging, by the way. Garth Ennis and the killing thing: hanging.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Dynamite, Reviews

Aaron And Latour’s ‘Southern Bastards’ Feels Like Going Home Again [Review]

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It was beginning to feel like Jason Aaron and Jason Latour were holding back. Not holding back their talents, obviously, but not showing us just how savage they could be. In the year and a half since the conclusion of Scalped, Aaron has written a slew of great Marvel books. After the last issue of the razor-sharp Loose Ends, Latour penned an arc of Winter Soldier and is now taking on Wolverine and the X-Men. Since the ends of their respective creator-owned series, everything that each creator has done has been top-notch superhero comics. But they were still superhero comics.

As great as their work in superheroes may be, Aaron and Latour have done their best work far outside that realm. In their best books, bullets kill you dead, horrible people do horrible things, and there always seems to be a redneck around the corner. After hanging around the superhero world for a while, the pair team up for a trip down south with the new redneck crime series Southern Bastards. And baby, it feels like going home again.

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‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4 Recap, Episode 16: ‘A’ [Spoilers]

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Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner Award-winning Image Comics series launched by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and now drawn by Charlie Adlard, has finally reached its end. ComicsAlliance’s John Parker has been

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